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Saying the UN should focus on nuclear containment, terrorism, drug-related crime, and the environment, President Clinton opened the UN's 50th anniversary celebrations yesterday. Cuba's Fidel Castro Ruz was among the 180 speakers also slated for the main podium. Castro's estranged daughter was to be among anti-Castro demonstrators outside. Russia's President Yeltsin greeted UN Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali with a bearhug. Yeltsin is set to meet with Clinton Monday. The PLO's Arafat wasn't invited to a Saturday world-leader fete, but he got $350,000 at a fund-raiser across the street. Egypt's Mubarak and Georgia's Shevardnadze stayed home, citing security concerns. Some 3,000 earphone-bedecked bodyguards are on duty.

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Democratic Congressman Cleo Fields became the first African-American to make a runoff for Louisiana's governor yesterday. His new opponent is State Sen. Mike Foster, who is supported by the Christian right. The state's 2.3 million voters - 650,000 of whom are black - will choose between the two Nov. 18.

Picking the head of the nation's largest union is the task of AFL-CIO delegates at the convention that starts today in New York. Although the carpenter's union switched its allegiance to incumbent Thomas Donahue, challenger John Sweeney said yesterday he had enough votes to unseat Donahue. At issue: who can best lead revitalization efforts, including minority recruitment.

With the budget battle looming this week, Clinton and Senator Dole sparred this weekend. Clinton says the GOP's plan will hurt the elderly in Medicare cuts and hurt homeowners in upped mortgage payments. Dole says Clinton is using "Halloween" scare tactics.

A jury of eight whites and four blacks acquitted Christopher Johnson, a black man, Friday. He was accused of setting fire to an Alabama school where a white principal ignited unrest by banning mixed-race couples from the prom.

In a bid to break Intel Corp's near monopoly of the computer-chip business, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., a chip pioneer, announced a merger with upstart Nexgen Friday. But Intel also unveiled plans to pour $3 billion into three new chip factories in Israel, Ireland, and Malaysia to keep up with exploding demand.

Shuttle Columbia astronaut Al Sacco spent Saturday in space mixing silicon and aluminum, the main ingredients of zeolite crystals. Among other things, zeolite is used to process crude oil. Scientists hope weightlessness will help create bigger, purer crystals than those produced on Earth.

Guards regained control at a federal prison in Illinois Saturday, ending a one-day uprising that began after the government ordered federal prisons locked down nationwide. Inmates also rampaged in Talladega, Ala., last week and Allenwood, Pa., El Reno, Okla., and Memphis on Friday. The disturbances began after Congress refused to reduce penalties for crack convictions.

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US regulators are mulling how to respond to a Daiwa bank bond trader Toshihide Iguchi's admission last week that his bosses told him to cover up $1.1 billion in losses. A harsh response could threaten already tense US-Japanese ties.

"Can I give the same energy and passion that I gave to my military career to a political career?" what Colin Powell is pondering since his book tour ended Friday in Norfolk, Va. He says he will decide in November whether to seek the presidency.


Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama is feeling the heat from an 85,000-strong protest rally Saturday on Okinawa against US military bases in Japan. Murayama's government hinted Sunday that it might review its security arrangements with the US, rather than just tinker with the existing pact. The protest was sparked by anger over the alleged rape of a girl by US servicemen. Meanwhile, Japan's Finance Minister emerged Sunday as the favorite to head a new liberal party planned through a merger of his Sakigake Party with Murayama's Socialists. And in 1993, leaders of the Aum Shinri Kyo sect sprayed germs around Japan's Imperial Palace in an unsuccessful attempt to cause chaos in Tokyo, press reports said Sunday.

French President Chirac and his Algerian counterpart, Liamine Zeroual, abruptly canceled plans Sunday to meet in New York. The proposed talks had stirred terrorist threats from Islamic radicals. And in a meeting with Chirac Saturday, Russian President Boris Yeltsin said Russian troops would help enforce any Bosnian peace accord - but not under NATO command.

Two French pilots shot down over Bosnia are being held in Belgrade by forces loyal to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, The Sunday Times of London said. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said Wednesday the pilots were kidnapped from a Pale hospital. And Bosnian battlefields entered their quietest period since an Oct 12 truce.

Israeli forces wounded a Lebanese boy while firing heavy machine guns on a south Lebanon village Sunday. Also, US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin failed Saturday to find a way to salvage peace talks with Syria during a private meeting in New York.

A week before Quebec's 5 million voters decide whether they want independence from Canada, a poll published Saturday in Montreal found the race too close to call. According to the poll, 45.8 percent said they would vote "yes" for independence on Oct. 30, while 42.2 percent said they would vote "no." Needed to win: 50 percent.

Imprisonment Saturday of Gen. Manuel Contreras, while hailed as a victory for Chilean democracy, shows the Army's continuing power five years after the establishment of civilian rule. Contreras and his deputy ,Pedro Espinoza, are the only inmates in a new prison guarded by an elite Army unit. He is serving a seven-year term for the 1976 murder in Washington , D.C., of Orlando Letelier, an opponent of former dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The Indian government knows the whereabouts of four Western hostages held by Muslim guerrillas for more than three months in Kashmir, a senior Indian official said yesterday. "They are alive and safe," he said. Government officials ruled out a rescue attempt by force.

A rocket attack on Kabul Saturday killed 11 people and injured more than 30 as a UN envoy arrived to discuss a truce between President Burhanuddin Rabbani and opponents threatening to storm the Afghan capital.

Tamil Tiger rebels killed 66 villagers in eastern Sri Lanka Saturday, the military and witnesses said. The attacks could be part of an effort to distract the Army from a big push in the north against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who are fighting to carve a Tamil homeland out of majority Sinhalese Sri Lanka. In the north, the Army killed 106 rebels.

The resignation of Willy Claes Oct. 20 in the wake of corruption charges in his native Belgium forced NATO to start looking for a new secretary-general quickly. Members are looking over a shortlist of candidates.


I don't care that the game is not a great one. I just enjoy

sitting here and not being shot at."

- Alen Muslic, a Bosnian soldier at a soccer game Saturday - the first in Sarajevo since March 1994.

In 1994 for the first time, tourists to Britain spent more than a billion dollars ($1.57 billion) in a year, according to a survey released yesterday. The British Isles drew 387 million tourists, up 2 percent from 1993.

American Geologist Mark McMenamin of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., has found in the Mexican desert what scientists say could be the world's oldest animal fossil: the outline of a jellyfish-like creature that lived on the sea floor up to 600 million years ago.

National Book Award Nominees


"Sabbath's Theater," by Philip Roth

"Krik? Krak!," by Edwidge Danticat

"All Souls' Rising," by Madison Smartt Bell

"The House on the Lagoon," by Rosario Ferre

"Interstate," by Stephen Dixon


"Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia," by Dennis Covington

"Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life," by Daniel C. Dennett

"A Civil Action," by Johnathan Harr

"The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism," by Tina Rosenberg

"Ghosts of Mississippi: The Murder of Medgar Evers, the Trials of Byron De La Beckwith and the Haunting of the New South," by Maryanne Vollers


"Collected Poems, 1945-1990," by Barbara Howes

"In the Crevice of Time: New and Collected Poems," by Josephine Jacobsen

"New and Selected Poems," by Donald Justice

"Passing Through, The Later Poems, New and Selected," by Stanley Kunitz

"New and Selected Poems," by Gary Soto

- AP

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